1kg mussels (cleaned and debearded)
1 tablespoon finely grated galangal or ginger
3 stalks fresh lemon grass – the inner white part – smashed and finely chopped
1-2 chillis (heat of your choice) – finely chopped
2 cloves garlic – chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce (to taste)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 tablespoon oil
1 400ml can coconut milk
2 Kaffir lime leaves – sliced finely
- Place the galangal, lemon grass, chillis and garlic in a mortar and gently pound with a pestle until well bruised.
(I’m not patient enough for this – I put them in the chopper attachment of stick blender with the oil and pulse them into a paste)
- Heat a large saucepan and sweat the paste until it’s fragrant.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.
- Add the mussels and cook, covered, for 5-7 minutes – until the mussels open.
After 5 minutes I start to remove the mussels that are open (put them into a large bowl) and give the rest a stir so they come in contact with the hot broth. Some take a bit longer to open. I keep doing this until they are all open – but take care not to overcook the mussels as they can go a bit chewy.
I rarely find one that doesn’t open – if you do – discard them.
- Return all mussels to the broth to heat through.
- Check the broth for flavouring – add more fish sauce, palm sugar or lime juice to taste.
- Serve with buckwheat soba noodles – or rice – or crusty bread – or pasta – whatever takes your fancy.
- Feel free to toss in a big handful of fresh coriander or some Thai basil if you like it.
Note: This recipe uses coconut milk. Many people who are Fructose Intolerant can’t eat it. I can eat it in small amounts – if you can’t eat it, use white wine.